Large-scaled Mormyrid | Marcusenius macrolepidotus

Others / Mormyridae / Large-scaled Mormyrid

Profile: Large-scaled Mormyrid, Bulldog
Marcusenius macrolepidotus Synonyms: Gnathonemus macrolepidotus, Mormyrus macrolepidotus
Physical description: An elongated, laterally compressed species with a long, slender caudal peduncle and a forked caudal fin. The anal and dorsal fins are located opposite one another and are situated far back on the body. The forehead is large and rounded and there is lobe on the lower jaw. The color is light brown to dark gray with a silver iridescence. The body may be spotted with irregular brown spots.
Size/Length: To 12" (30 cm) in nature, although rarely larger than 8" (20 cm) in captivity.
Similar species: Marcusenius species, and Hippopotamyrus species.
Habitat: Southern Africa; widespread in the Cunene, Okavango, upper Zaire, and Zambezi river systems.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A 40" (101 cm) or 45-55 gallon (170-209 L) tank is sufficient. Follow suggestions for G. petersii.
Water chemistry: pH 6-8 (7.5), 5-18 dH (10), 68-79°F (20-26°C)
Social behavior: A territorial species that is aggressive towards similar fish. It is possible to maintain this species; species is a school of six or more in a large tank. A nocturnal species.
Suggested companions: Gouramis, Barbs, Synodontis, West African Cichlids, African characins
FOOD: Live; Tubifex, other worms, insect larvae, Artemia; occasionally flakes. Feed after the lights are off.
Sexual differences: Skelton (98) reports that males have a notch in their anal fin, while females do not.
Breeding techniques: Has not been accomplished in aquaria, although has been observed in nature. According to Skeleton (98), this species spawns during the rainy season is shallow, planted areas. As many as 6000 eggs are laid.
Breeding potential: 10. Breeding has not been accomplished in aquaria, although may be possible by recreating the rainy season in a large tank.
REMARKS: Mass migrations in nature have been reported, although these have not been linked to the spawning season.
Difficulty of care: 6. This large species requires live foods and a well-maintained tank.